DFA's Strategic Plan

Our strategy is based on UC Irvine’s four strategic pillars and focuses on key priorities
to drive decision-making, specific initiatives, and key performance indicators.


"Our commitment to a divisional strategic plan positions us to not only enhance organizational performance but also foster a culture of innovation and process improvement, adaptability, and resilience."

Mary Lou D. Ortiz
Chief Financial Officer & Vice Chancellor

Strategic Plan Overview

Based on UC Irvine’s Four Strategic Pillars

UC Irvine Pillar 1:
Growth That Makes a Difference

Expanding Our Capacity to Improve Lives

DFA has three strategic priorities supporting this pillar:

  1. Oversee the development and deployment of the physical infrastructure to support campus growth and accessibility.
  2. Provide physical infrastructure support to meet campus enrollment goals as outlined in the compact with the state of California.
  3. Focus on opportunities to expand research and lab space.

There are 15 department goals that encompass various aspects of development, efficiency, and inclusivity at UC Irvine. These include integrated planning for capital projects, developing a new Long Range Development Plan, exploring growth scenarios, pursuing affordable housing solutions, reducing leased office space, improving space data accuracy, establishing consistent permitting processes, enhancing accessibility standards, managing chemical inventory reconciliation, conducting a decarbonization study, and enhancing transportation systems.

UC Irvine Pillar 2:
First in Class

Elevating the Student Experience
to Prepare Future Leaders

DFA has one strategic priority supporting this pillar:

  1. Elevate the student experiences through efficient services that promote a culture of well-being and safety in their living, work, and educational environments.

UC Irvine’s Police Department (UCIPD) aims to lead in fostering community engagement with residents and campus communities within the UCIPD framework. Through proactive initiatives and meaningful interactions, the goal is to cultivate strong relationships built on trust, transparency, and mutual respect. Prioritizing open communication channels, educational outreach programs, and collaborative partnerships, UCIPD envisions a safer and more inclusive environment where residents and campus members feel empowered to actively participate in shaping their community's safety and well-being.

UC Irvine Pillar 3:
Great Partners

Making Regional and Global Connections
That Enhance Our Mission and Serve the People

DFA has two strategic priorities supporting this pillar:

  1. Strengthen and promote environmentally sustainable operations and practices.
  2. Foster and promote external partnerships.

The strategic priorities of strengthening and promoting environmentally sustainable operations and fostering external partnerships are intertwined with several DFA goals. Initiatives include updating the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan to align with sustainability objectives, deepening awareness of sustainability measures in capital projects, collaborating to transition campus switchgears away from sulfur hexafluoride, reducing energy consumption through efficient technologies, and expanding sustainable transportation partnerships and programs. Additionally, efforts to rebuild connections with law enforcement agencies aim to enhance safety and security on main and health campuses, while improvements to the student transportation program seek to reduce costs and enhance the overall experience for users. These combined endeavors reflect DFA's commitment to environmental stewardship, community engagement, and operational excellence.

UC Irvine Pillar 4:
New Paths for Our Brilliant Future

Forging Best Practices to
Power the Coming Century

DFA has four strategic priorities supporting this pillar:

  1. Reimagine business processes with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness and foster an environment of continuous process improvement.
  2. Effectively address the university’s liability, financial, operational, compliance, and reputational risks.
  3. Develop and maintain an engaged workforce and cultivate a sense of belonging.
  4. Lead the transition to a new budget model that allocates funding to best support strategic priorities.

With over 70 goals supporting those priorities, DFA has outlined a comprehensive strategy to reimagine business processes for efficiency and effectiveness while prioritizing risk management and workforce engagement. Goals include elevating the performance of digital content management systems and implementing divisional training strategies to enhance skill development. Additionally, efforts focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, talent development, and customer service management platforms. Transitioning to a new budget model and fostering a culture of continuous process improvement are central to this initiative. These goals underscore DFA's commitment to innovation, accountability, and creating a supportive environment for its workforce while leveraging technology to enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Divisional Goals

After careful review of department goals, several common themes emerged, leading to the formalization of seven divisional goals.

DFA is dedicated to enhancing its digital presence by elevating the performance of its websites, aiming to provide users with accessible, high-quality digital experiences. Simultaneously, recognizing the significance of continuous learning, the division is implementing a robust training strategy to equip its workforce with essential skills and knowledge.

DFA places a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), bolstering existing initiatives and fostering an inclusive workplace culture through collaboration and engagement efforts. Additionally, the division is committed to nurturing talent and fostering internal growth opportunities, enabling staff members to reach their full potential.

DFA prioritizes efficient customer service, implementing systems to streamline processes and enhance service quality across all departments. Alongside, the division is strategically allocating resources to optimize budget utilization during its transition to a new model. Lastly, DFA is cultivating a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, driving efficiencies and enhancements across various operational processes to ensure ongoing organizational success.

Unit Goals

Unit goals serve as the building blocks that contribute to the realization of DFA’s broader divisional objectives. By delving into these goals, stakeholders gain a granular understanding of how each unit aligns its efforts with the overarching mission and vision. This micro-level examination not only highlights the unique contributions of each department but also unveils opportunities for synergy, collaboration, and optimization across the organization. Click on the links below for view the details for each unit.

Strategic Framework

Step 1: Develop the Strategy
What business are we in and why (VMV), what are the key issues (strategic analysis), and how can we best compete (formulate strategy)?
Step 2: Translate the Strategy
Translate strategy by developing strategic objectives, measures, targets, initiatives, and budgets that guide action and resource allocation.
Step 3: Align the Organization
How do we ensure all units are on the same page, align support units with strategies, and motivate employees to help execute the strategy?
Step 4: Plan Operations
What business process improvements are most critical for executing the strategy, and how do we link strategy with operating plans and budgets?
Step 5: Monitor and Learn
Are we executing our strategy well, and what is our process to measure progress?
Step 6: Test and Adapt the Strategy
Ask, if our strategy is working.

Guided by Norton-Kaplan’s six-step strategic framework, a solid groundwork was established for navigating financial decisions and resource allocation in alignment with DFA’s vision, mission, and values. This strategic blueprint helps anticipate shifts in focus, capitalizes on emerging opportunities, and navigates challenges with agility and foresight.

Step 1: Develop the Strategy

Strategic planning began in February 2023 with a revision to DFA’s vision, mission, and values which were finalized in May 2023. Next, a series of DFA cabinet meetings and extended planning sessions occurred through the spring and summer of 2023. Ten strategic priorities were developed guided by the vision of advancing UC Irvine’s strategic plan. This also led to the creation of DFA’s Strategic Planning Implementation Team who provide project support for the divisional strategic planning process. To encourage broader engagement, the Strategic Advisory Network (SAN) was established comprised of over 50 representatives across various units and levels within DFA. SAN members play an instrumental role in driving the development, communication, and execution of DFA’s strategic plan.

Step 2: Translate the Strategy

From September to December 2023, departments developed and refined their strategic unit goals, tactics, and KPIs in alignment with the divisional priorities and UC Irvine’s strategic pillars.

Step 3: Align the Organization

Several virtual and in-person SAN meetings and DFA town halls were held to gain understanding and alignment.

Step 4: Plan Operations

The first year of strategic planning focuses on the business process improvements that are most critical for executing the strategy, in addition to linking strategy with operating plans and budgets.

DFA Program Development & Execution department is positioned to partner with departments to drive operational improvements and streamline processes to optimize resources and maximize outcomes. The Budget & Finance team are working toward a comprehensive budget picture for DFA—to effectively manage financial resources across the division.

Step 5: Monitor and Learn

Scheduled strategic report-outs, slated to occur three times annually which will serve as checkpoints for assessing progress and refining strategies. An annual strategic plan summary, produced each June, facilitates the formulation of a dynamic, rolling five-year plan, fostering adaptability and resilience.

Step 6: Test and Adapt the Strategy

In this final step, DFA reaffirms commitment to a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. By rigorously testing and adapting strategic initiatives, organizational excellence is ensured, ready to navigate the evolving landscape of higher education with confidence and efficacy.